We just returned from our first trip to Cozumel with our two sons (17 & 14) for 6 nights. I was thrilled to see the water is still the most amazing thing when you fly in. I went to Playa del Carmen and Tulum 8 years ago and the water was one of the most beautiful parts of that region. We had no past experience with Park Royal or any other resorts so we were as prepared as we could be. I checked Trip Advisor very carefully to find the right fit for our family and we were very happy with our choice of staying at Park Royal. Here are our comments on our stay:
1. Airport transfer to hotel: Definitely walk out of the airport without talking to anyone trying to group you together. We walked out of the airport, turned right, crossed over to sidewalk leading to the main road and had a taxi immediately. It was a $10 cab ride to our hotel and we were really happy with how easy that was. Great tip forum ppl. To get back to the airport the taxis are right outside the hotel so no problem. I would be very careful to check your number of bags when you leave to make sure they are loaded since another family found they were missing a bag once they got to the airport but fortunately it is a quick drive back to the hotel.
2. We were all very happy with how nice the hotel was when we pulled up to Park Royal. We had a bellman take our bags and we checked in complete with a delicious cold fruit drink that both the boys thought was pretty cool. We couldn't go to our room, but they gave us our wrist bands to start enjoying the resort.
3. Meals: My youngest is a picky eater and we try to eat healthy without a lot of fried foods. We were very happy with the variety of food selections at the buffet every day. Always plenty of fresh sliced fruit, a variety of salads, yes some of the items may have been from the day before but they were re-vamped. For instance a bone in chicken breast from Tuesday nights dinner, would be a shredded chicken with a spicy sauce the next night. It was all very good and we always went back for seconds. We all had our favorite items and enjoyed the theme nights. We thought we would eat off site every night to enjoy some of the area favorites, but after a full day in the pool and ocean along with muy drinks, that didn't happen. We made friends with a lot of people at the pool that went to the Italian and Mexican on site restaurant that would overly impressed. We didn't bring any dressy clothes so we passed on that. We ate off site for lunch several times including Ernesto's grouper and it was fantastic. Right across the street.
4. Rooms: When we went back to get our room keys, I had asked if I could pay for an upgrade since there were not any on line through Expedia, Lizbeth told us know the hotel was full and no changes were available. I also asked about a higher floor, no was the answer again. She wasn't the most pleasant. Another staff member said to check back in a few days. We couldn't have been any lower view wise with room 2114 which is the 2nd tower (attached to the lobby), one floor up and around by the amphitheater. The garden view was pretty however with lots of palm trees and the pool view. The rooms are very clean, but the beds are super small doubles. We hadn't stayed in a hotel with double beds in 5+ years and knew we were going to be cramped, but tried to make the best of it. Great shower and the safe was only $10 for our stay so we did that. After a very sleepless night with my husband's snoring, I went to the front desk first thing the next morning to see if a different staff person could help us with an upgrade. Keep in mind I wasn't asking for a free upgrade. We had wanted to pay and I could see the hotel was not full or overly busy. I had a great staff member named Carlos call over a bellman to show me a Jr. Suite in tower 1. We were sold. A large king bed, great view, separate sink area from the bathroom portion and a separate room for the boys with 2 single beds. I was told it was normally $70 more each night, but for a special rate of $20 per night we could change rooms. For $100 it was a fantastic move. We loved the new room and will always request a Jr. Suite for our future stays. Our room number was 1902 which was tower 1 on the 9th floor right off the elevators.
5. Pool, Beach & Bars: The access to the pools, restaurants, bars and beach are wonderful. I felt very safe on this property just letting my boys roam. They would go down to get our towels set on chairs if we weren't moving quick enough in the morning. We never put towels out before 10am and never had trouble finding 4 loungers together. Our favorite spots were on the decks behind the lower pool near the diving pier. That became our pool the entire trip. Great people, plenty strong drinks thanks to Oscar at the swim up bar, perfect snack bar access, restrooms right there, great views of the ocean, our boys snorkeling and the cruise ships. I bought a float 4 days into our trip and wish I had it sooner. Floating out in the ocean was fantastic and very relaxing. Anyone who says the drinks are watered down is crazy. I had to pace myself the drinks were so strong. My boys had virgin pina coladas, daiquiris and mojitos. The bar staff took great care of us and yes we did bring a lot of $1 bills for tipping. It would have been great to have chair service, but it was not a big deal and made it more social interacting with all our new pool friends. Great people and a lot of fun. The beach is small but we were in the water the majority of the time and bringing your own snorkeling gear is great. The fish are very active, a little nibbly, but very colorful.
6. Tours: We were never approached by even one timeshare person so that was wonderful. We did have the bellman call us a taxi when we wanted to go into town or head to Chankanaab on our own. We didn't feel like doing anything scheduled this trip. We went to Ron Jon's in town for our Cozumel t-shirts, there was an HSBC bank in the town square so I was able to use the ATM, shopped for our little trinkets and found Starbucks. We also shopped at the Mega Store for a few misc. items which was great and caught a taxi easy. We paid $10 each way with tip. My sons are still laughing at all the "Hey my friend, come here for great price today" or "special price for you". They'd never seen that before. One of the best things we did was visit Chankanaab for a full day. Since we had so much rain, we thought why not head over and snorkel there. We paid $16 for the taxi there and $21 per person to get in. We weren't interested in the pool or shows (dolphin or sea lions) but rather the beach, replica ruins, the scenery and snorkeling. We arrived at 10:00am, just before a huge group of cruise people and had a great palapa with 4 chairs and a wonderful waiter, Gonsalvo who took care of us all day. We were able to run a tab for drinks and food which was great, but be sure to have enough cash since they do not take credit cards. The boys had giant coconut shell and pineapple shell drinks with fruit faces on them and we had conch, grilled squid and chicken nachos. The snorkeling was fantastic with markers in the water showing you where the sunken statues and cannons are. There was a large raft for you to swim out to. Be sure to bring towels from the resort which we did not and there are no towels to rent. We ended up buying 1 very cheap thin towel for $15 just to dry off with. It rain for a couple of hours, but we walked around the replica ruins which is really cool and had a couple's massage overlooking the lagoon. They had a 2 for 1 special which was two 45 minute massages for $70. That was a great price and they did a wonderful job. By the time we had lunch and massages the rain had passed. They had hammocks to chill in and clean restrooms. Overall it was a great experience.
7. Weather: Prior to leaving we were watching the weather forecast and it wasn't looking too good regarding sunny days. We had a good 1st day, but we weren't able to get into the pool very early. We had a lot of clouds, a bit of sun most days with quite a few days of scattered showers. We had one afternoon when everyone just hung out under the bar palapas. Our last full day was the best day with a perfect sunny day which makes the water a perfect turquoise color. We only had a sunset one night because the cloud cover was so low, the sunset didn't break through. We didn't get sunburned at all, but did get a bit of a tan. Considering all the rain that was okay.
8. Cruise ships: We weren't sure how we were going to feel with the cruise ships blocking our view each day, but we ended up liking it. Our new room overlooking Hotel Cid, the shopping area and the water so we'd check every morning to see what ships came in. They always pulled out before dinner except for one night. We did enjoy watching people run on the decks trying to catch their ship. They were not the eye sore we were expecting. Of course, now my sons want to take a cruise after seeing how massive they were in person.
9. Money: I would say take more cash vs. relying on your credit cards. No one accepts Discover, most didn't take AMEX so we put the higher amount items (Chankanaab and Ron Jons) on our secure Mastercard. Trying to find an ATM that gave American $ back was a challenge, I didn't like paying the fees and the hotel did not have an ATM which would have been so convenient. We did use the safe in the hotel and felt it was fine. We also didn't have any concerns with our belongings at the pool at the hotel. I would just budget to have more cash next time.
10. Negatives: The beds are not the most comfortable at Park Royal, but we had a lot of pillows which helped. Not having an ATM on site was challenging. My boys were laughing at their favorite TV shows in Spanish every night. They had 3 English speaking channels. We only watched TV at night so it wasn't a huge deal. Wifi: I literally received messages maybe 3 days out of the 6 we were there. Even text messages were random. Since I heard so much negative about the hotels wifi we didn't pay another $15 a day for that and I will contact Verizon about my International plan not working down there. We really don't have a lot of negatives.
We loved our trip and plan to return to Park Royal. We loved the location to town, the snorkeling, the food/beverage and the views. Great trip overall.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Admire the award-winning architecture and the interior design of Grand Park Royal Cozumel; its Mayan touch that lives together with the nature that surrounds it will captivate you. From the pools, Jacuzzis and bars, you will be amazed with the turquoise shades of the sea. You will also be delighted with a wide range of gastronomic options including seafood and international specialties. Immerse yourself in an incredible submarine adventure by practicing diving and snorkeling in the world’s second biggest reef. Our activities program and nightly shows are ideal for enjoying in family. Fun is guaranteed! Live the Grand Park Royal experience in Cozumel! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Park Royal Cozumel Hotel Cozumel
- Park Royal Hotel Cozumel
- Park Royal Cozumel Mexico